Galway City councillors see red over Green senator’s tweet
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Author: Dara Bradley
~ 3 minutes read
From this week's Galway City Tribune
Bradley Bytes – a sort of political column with Dara Bradley
Galway Green Party Senator Pauline O’Reilly’s ears must have been burning last week.
City councillors didn’t mention her by name, but it was clear who they referred to. And they didn’t spare her.
Cllr Declan McDonnell (Ind) attacked her as a “one-term senator”; a slur he withdrew after Mayor Clodagh Higgins (FG) rebuked him.
There was “no need for that”, she snapped. But Classy Clodagh was not happy with Pauline either.
Declan fumed that a certain Green Party senator had gone on national radio and social media, misrepresenting what councillors had agreed at the previous meeting.
“It’s a disgrace,” he squealed. The unnamed senator (Pauline O’Reilly) hadn’t been at the previous meeting and had interpreted their vote arse-ways, was the gist of his rant.
Classy Clodagh agreed. “We all know what we agreed but the public needs to know; Twitter doesn’t know, Twitter needs to know,” she thundered.
There was more righteous indignation from Cllr Alan Cheevers (FF). The Chief Executive, Brendan McGrat,h needed to unleash the might of City Hall’s Press Office and issue a statement. Set the record straight.
He moaned about “misinformation” and “false information” spouted on the Wild West of social media, Twitter.
Pauline, as is her wont, clearly got under the skin of councillors when she criticised them last month.
On April 18, she tweeted: “The end of the Renmore Ballyloughane cycle lane happened last night. It beggar’s belief that another cycle lane in Galway has been voted down by all but two councillors. It is claimed that it would ‘block off access’. What this really means is that it would reduce car parking.”
This referred to a motion at the April meeting, tabled by Cllr Terry O’Flaherty, seconded by Cllr MJ Crowe.
The motion that was passed, read: “We propose that Galway City Council reject the proposals set out in the Ballyloughane Road/Renmore Avenue Active Travel Scheme in its present format.”
It passed by 14-2, with one abstention. Both Green councillors, Martina O’Connor and Niall Murphy, opposed it.
Councillors at the latest meeting complained the vote was misrepresented. They were angered by Pauline’s tweet and the national media coverage it had garnered her on RTÉ Radio One.
Councillors argued that the phrase “in its current format” meant it was not “the end” of the scheme, as she’d claimed on social media. Instead, the Council executive could come back with more palatable proposals.
Brendan McGrath concurred. He “didn’t see the need” to issue a statement to articulate the decision they made. It was “wrong”, he said, if that decision had not been communicated or interpreted correctly. But it was “abundantly clear” to management what councillors had decided.
Meanwhile, Pauline’s ‘offending’ tweet remains up.
(Photo: Pauline O’Reilly at the Mayoral Ball with Green councillors, Niall Murphy and Martina O’Connor).
This is a shortened preview version of this column. For more Bradley Bytes, see the May 19 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can buy a digital edition HERE.
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